Jivan Mukti and Advaita

Ravi miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM
Thu Sep 16 18:30:36 CDT 1999

> Some time back, I read a post here that said that Jivan Mukti is
> *essential*
> for Advaitam. Could someone please post whether this has a scriptural
> basis
> (did Adi Shankaracharya comment on this). Could you also explain why
> this is
> held to be true, if at all it is so.
> ashish

mukti or liberation in advaita-vedanta is removal of avidyaa. For a
jiva, avidyaa is the upAdhi or limiting adjunct. In other words brahman
with avidyaa as upAdhi is jIva. When that limitation is removed,
brahman alone remains.

Death is dropping of the physical garment after it had served the
purpose based on one's prArabha karma. At this point the jiva even
though not encased in body, still it is jIva. It is still not out of
cycle of transmigration.

If one admits the notion that a jnAni attains mukti only at the time
his physical body dies, then it would be conflicting because it
entertains a notion of atman is something which corked like soda in a
bottle in the body and released at the time of death (removal of the
cork). Atman is ever brahman. The mis-identification due to avidya when
removed that is the point of liberation, a brahmavit becomes brahman at
the dawn of knowledge of brahman (anubhava and not parokSha jnAna).

Death is no big deal, it is another level of change. The change is
something continuosly happening. Other changes seems gradual and are
unnoticeable unlike death, and at death we think it is like a step
change. For that is a benevolent trick of Ishwara. He knows that one
will get mad if that is not so. However much prolonged in duration one
body is not enough for jIva to mature (how can a man understand the
feelings and experiences of a woman without becoming one), hence the
need of many bodies till one attains mukti undergo the experiences as
dictated by karma

Another common question that is asked is why does the body remain for a
jnAni who is a brahmavit.  It remains only for others (like us) and
jnAni is in the realm of pAramArthika, his state non-dual and not
understood by us. Even prArabhda is not there for him (like ramaNa's
example if man with three wives die, does only two of them become
widows?). This is a complex arena, beyond a point words do not help.

As it was pointed out jIvana mukti is dealt in vivekachUDamaniH, even
it is referred in the famous bhajagovindam (satsangatve ... verse). I
think vidyAraNaya svAmin wrote jivana mukti vivekaH, that is also I
have heard about.

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